Beyond Forgiveness - Live to Tell the Story | Album Review

Colorado gothic/symphonic metal outfit Beyond Forgiveness bring us their second full-length album Live To Tell The Story.

Although Beyond Forgiveness’ sound is predominantly gothic and symphonic, there are also some slight folky elements; such as the flutes on the opening track 'Echoes' and the closing track 'Forever Dream'.

The soprano vocals (Talia Hoit) are delicate and angelic and the vocal lines are catchy and easily to sing along to. There are also death growls from Greg Witwer and Richard Marcus. Combined with the pure sounding soprano vocals to give a ‘beauty and the beast’ dynamic, famously used by bands such as Theatre of Tragedy and Tristania. This adds grit and edge to the band’s sound. Additionally, in 'Reverie' there are some nice rich baritone cleans (Witwer/Marcus again) accompanying the soprano and growled vocals. Symphonic metal doesn’t often feature clean baritone and bass vocals, so this is a nice interesting touch.

Ultimately, their blend of symphonic gothic metal is nothing especially new or unique but the songwriting, musicianship and production cannot be faulted. The choral and orchestral backing is a particularly impressive element, matching the mood of each moment and adding drama and gothic atmosphere. There is a background effect of crashing ocean waves at the start of 'Forever Dream', conjuring images of being out at sea in the night. Coupled with the wistful enchanting melodies this has a lovely lilting, lamenting effect. As the shortest song on the album, coming in just shy of 4 minutes, this track is a perfect closer: short and sweet.

Overall, this is a solid and thoroughly enjoyable album. Particular highlights include 'Echoes', 'Reverie', 'Leaves of Lothlorien' and 'Forever Dream'. Nevertheless, the whole album is a compelling listen with each song having a memorable hooky vocal line. If dramatic symphonic music is your cup of tea then don’t miss this one.

Would recommend for fans of: Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica, After Forever, Unsun, Leaves’ Eyes, Sirenia, Ancient Bards, The Gentle Storm

Score: 8/10

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